Paul Symon

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Paul Bruce Symon
Born 1960
Melbourne, Victoria
Allegiance Australia
Service/branch Australian Army
Years of service 1979–2015
Rank Major General
Commands held Director Defence Intelligence Organisation (2011–14)
Deputy Chief of Army (2009–11)
Joint Task Force 633 (2005–06)
1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (1998–99)
Battles/wars East Timor
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Awards Officer of the Order of Australia

Major General Paul Bruce Symon AO (born 1960) is a retired senior Australian Army officer. He served as Director Defence Intelligence Organisation from 2011 to 2014, and as Deputy Chief of Army from 2009 to 2011.[1]

Military career[edit]

A graduate on the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He served in Kokoda Company and in 1982 was the senior cadet – Battalion Sergeant Major – and the recipient of the Sword of Honour. Symon was allotted to the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA) and has seen service with the gunners in many postings, culminating in command of the 1st Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery in 1998–1999.

Symon has served on operations four times. His most important joint command was in late 2005 until mid-2006 when appointed Commander Middle East (Joint Task Force 633). This appointment gave him national command responsibility for all soldiers, sailors and airmen/women in Iraq and Afghanistan. His command coincided with the Australia's only death in Iraq, that of Private Jake Kovco.

Symon advised the United Nations Special Representative in East Timor in the four months prior to the deployment of International Force for East Timor, known as INTERFET. This entailed close liaison with the Indonesian military, Falintil and militia leaders prior to, during, and after the vote for independence in 1999. For his leadership in East Timor and in command, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2000 Queen's Birthday honours.[2]

In 1997 he served with the United Nations in South Lebanon and the Golan Heights in a period of great tension between Hezbollah and the Israeli Defence Force. And in 2003, he was appointed as the senior military adviser for the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands It was in this period that a significant number of militia leaders were jailed and a very successful gun amnesty organised.

Symon has taught at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, and has served as Army’s Director-General of Personnel, Director-General of Preparedness and Plans and Deputy Chief of Army. He has also served as Director-General Pacific in International Policy Division and Chief of Staff of Army’s 1st Division in Brisbane.

Academically, Symon holds two Master's degrees: from Deakin University and from the University of New South Wales. He is a graduate of Australian Army Command and Staff College and of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in Canberra.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2007 Australia Day honours list in recognition of his operational service in the Middle East.

Personal life[edit]

Symon is married to (Kate) and they have two children. He gains pleasure running half marathons and in the company of his family and friends.

Honours and awards[edit]

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Iraq Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Service Medal ribbon.png

DFSM with Rosette x 3.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png UNITED NATIONS OBSERVATION GROUP IN LEBANON.jpg UNAMET Medal bar.gif

Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 26 January 2007 (Australia Day Honours List)[3]
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) 12 June 2000 (Queen's Birthday Honours List)[4]
Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal
Iraq Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Iraq Medal
Australian Service Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal
DFSM with Rosette x 3.png Defence Force Service Medal with 3 clasps 30–34 years service
Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal
UNITED NATIONS OBSERVATION GROUP IN LEBANON.jpg United Nations Medal for United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon (has a '2' device to denote second award (not shown)
UNAMET Medal bar.gif United Nations Medal for United Nations Mission in East Timor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Defence Magazine – "DIO at the forefront", Issue 4, 2012.
  2. ^ It's an Honour – Member of the Order of Australia – 26 January 2000
    Citation: "For distinguished service as the Commander Joint Task Force 633 on Operations CATALYST and SLIPPER."
  3. ^ It's an Honour – Officer of the Order of Australia
  4. ^ It's an Honour – Member of the Order of Australia
Military offices
Preceded by
Major General Richard Wilson
Director Defence Intelligence Organisation
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Major General David Morrison
Deputy Chief of Army
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Major General Jeffrey Sengelman